{ brad brace } on Wed, 1 Mar 2000 18:04:23 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Introduction to net.art (1994-1999) (fwd)

Introduction to net.art (1994-1999)

1. net.art at a Glance A. The Ultimate Modernism 1. Definition a.
net.art is a self-defining term created by a malfunctioning piece of
software, originally used to describe an art and communications
activity on the internet. b. net.artists sought to break down
autonomous disciplines and outmoded classifications imposed upon
various activists practices. 2. 0% Compromise a. By maintaining
independence from institutional bureaucracies b. By working without
marginalization and achieving substantial audience, communication,
dialogue and fun c. By realizing ways out of entrenched values arising
from structured system of theories and ideologies d. T.A.Z. (temporary
autonomous zone) of the late 90s: Anarchy and spontaneity 3.
Realization over Theorization a. The utopian aim of closing the ever
widening gap between art and everyday life, perhaps, for the first
time, was achieved and became a real, everyday and even routine
practice. b. Beyond institutional critique: whereby an
artist/individual could be equal to and on the same level as any
institiution or corporation. c. The practical death of the author B.
Specific Features of net.art 1. Formation of communities of artists
across nations and disciplines 2. Investment without material interest
3. Collaboration without consideration of appropriation of ideas 4.
Privileging communication over representation 5. Immediacy 6.
Immateriality 7. Temporality 8. Process based action 9. Play and
performance without concern or fear of historical consequences 10.
Parasitism as Strategy a. Movement from initial feeding ground of the
net b. Expansion into real life networked infrastructures 11.
Vanishing boundaries between private and public 12. All in One: a.
Internet as a medium for production, publication, distribution,
promotion, dialogue, consumption and critique b. Disintegration and
mutation of artist, curator, pen-pal, audience, gallery, theorist, art
collector, and museum 2. Short Guide to DIY net.art A. Preparing Your
Environment 1. Obtain access to a computer with the following
configuration: a. Macintosh with 68040 processor or higher (or PC with
486 processor or higher) b. At least 8 MB RAM c. Modem or other
internet connection 2. Software Requirements a. Text Editor b. Image
processor c. At least one of the following internet clients: Netscape,
Eudora, Fetch, etc. d. Sound and video editor (optional) B. Chose Mode
1. Content based 2. Formal 3. Ironic 4. Poetic 5. Activist C. Chose
Genre 1. Subversion 2. Net as Object 3. Interaction 4. Streaming 5.
Travel Log 6. Telepresent Collaboration 7. Search Engine 8. Sex 9.
Storytelling 10. Pranks and Fake Identity Construction 11. Interface
Production and/or Deconstruction 12. ASCII Art 13. Browser Art,
On-line Software Art 14. Form Art 15. Multi-User Interactive
Environments 16. CUSeeMe, IRC, Email , ICQ, Mailing List Art D.
Production 3. What You Should Know A. Current Status 1. net.art is
undertaking major transformations as a result of its newfound status
and institutional recognition. 2. Thus net.art is metamorphisizing
into an autonomous discipline with all its accouterments: theorists,
curators, museum departments, specialists, and boards of directors. B.
Materialization and Demise 1. Movement from impermanence,
immateriality and immediacy to materialization a. The production of
objects, display in a gallery b. Archiving and preservation 2.
Interface with Institutions: The Cultural Loop a. Work outside the
institution b. Claim that the institution is evil c. Challenge the
institution d. Subvert the institution e. Make yourself into an
institution f. Attract the attention of the institution g. Rethink the
institution h. Work inside the institution 3. Interface with
Corporations: Upgrade a. The demand to follow in the trail of
corporate production in order to remain up-to-date and visible b. The
utilization of radical artistic strategies for product promotion 4.
Critical Tips and Tricks for the Successful Modern net.artist A.
Promotional Techniques 1. Attend and participate in major media art
festivals, conferences and exhibitions. a. Physical b. Virtual 2. Do
not under any circumstances admit to paying entry fees, travel
expenses or hotel accommodations. 3. Avoid traditional forms of
publicity. e.g. business cards. 4. Do not readily admit to any
institutional affiliation. 5. Create and control your own mythology.
6. Contradict yourself periodically in email, articles, interviews and
in informal off-the-record conversation. 7. Be sincere. 8. Shock. 9.
Subvert (self and others). 10. Maintain consistency in image and work.
B. Success Indicators: Upgrade 2 1. Bandwidth 2. Girl or boy friends
3. Hits on search engines 4. Hits on your sites 5. Links to your site
6. Invitations 7. E-mail 8. Airplane tickets 9. Money 5. Utopian
Appendix (After net.art) A. Whereby individual creative activities,
rather than affiliation to any hyped art movement becomes most valued.
1. Largely resulting from the horizontal rather than vertical
distribution of information on the internet. 2. Thus disallowing one
dominant voice to rise above multiple, simultaneous and diverse
expressions. B. The Rise of an Artisan 1. The formation of
organizations avoiding the promotion of proper names 2. The bypassing
of art institutions and the direct targeting of corporate products,
mainstream media, creative sensibilities and hegemonic ideologies a.
Unannounced b. Uninvited c. Unexpected 3. No longer needing the terms
"art" or "politics" to legitimize, justify or excuse one's activities
C. The Internet after net.art 1. A mall, a porn shop and a museum 2. A
useful resource, tool, site and gathering point for an artisan a. Who
mutates and transforms as quickly and cleverly as that which seeks to
consume her b. Who does not fear or accept labeling or unlabeling c.
Who works freely in completely new forms together with older more
traditional forms d. Who understands the continued urgency of free
two-way and many-to-many communication over representation

Natalie Bookchin, Alexei Shulgin March-April 1999

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